Various Classifications Of First Person Pronouns

Last Updated: 03 Jan 2023
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Different dimensions have been studied for different reasons in separate contexts with varying aims. Psychological processes as the reasons behind the word choices of people have become an important goal. EW studies have focused on different word categories such as pronoun usage, emotion words, and cognitive words. Specifically, different pronouns are considered to be related to different processes. For example, Davis and Brock (1975) conducted an experiment that led them to conclude that people, who focus their attention on themselves, used more first-person pronouns. In a more recent study, the high use of the first-person singular pronoun has been associated with being young or being depressed. In another study, a positive relation was found between the scores in Beck’s Depression Inventory and the first-person singular pronoun use.

More specifically different classifications of the first-person singular pronoun have been determined as subjective, objective (me), and possessive (my) pronouns. A critical finding related to the relationship between depression and the first-person pronoun use is that all of the effects were carried by the use of I and no relationship was found between depression and the use of me or my. Tackman and her colleagues have analyzed 11 different samples in order to define specifying aspects of the first-person singular pronoun use in different contexts. They have found that the association between depression and different types of first-person singular pronouns depended on the contexts of language. The prominent finding of their analysis is the positive correlation between the I-talk and negative emotionality in all contexts.

Even when they controlled for depression, the relationship between I-talk and negative emotionality remained. As a more general conclusion of their analysis, they have offered that I-talk is related to general stress proneness rather than being limited only to depression. An additional suggestion has come from on Zimmerman and his colleagues (2013). They have found that whereas the high use of the first-person singular pronoun was associated both with a high level of interpersonal distress and with an intrusive interpersonal style, the use of the first-person plural was related to low level of interpersonal distress and a cold interpersonal style. Relatedly, they have concluded that self-referencing language has implications not only about general interpersonal distress and depression but also about interpersonal styles of people.

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